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PM’s Auckland office targeted in attack

It’s Thursday, October 27 and welcome to The Spinoff’s live updates, made possible by our members. Get in touch with us on

The agenda

  • The prime minister’s electoral office in Auckland has been the target of an attack this morning.
  • Fire services arrived to the scene at about 8.30am. Nobody was hurt.
  • Jacinda Ardern is in Antarctica.

PM’s Auckland office targeted in attack

It’s Thursday, October 27 and welcome to The Spinoff’s live updates, made possible by our members. Get in touch with us on

The agenda

  • The prime minister’s electoral office in Auckland has been the target of an attack this morning.
  • Fire services arrived to the scene at about 8.30am. Nobody was hurt.
  • Jacinda Ardern is in Antarctica.
Oct 27 2022

Phil Goff confirmed for UK diplomatic posting

Phil Goff (Photo: Getty Images)

Recently departed Auckland mayor Phil Goff has already lined up his next gig. He’ll be jetting to the UK to become New Zealand’s next high commissioner in early 2023.

It was a widely rumoured, though officially unconfirmed, announcement and comes as Goff’s former Labour colleague Trevor Mallard readies to take up a similar posting in Ireland.

Foreign affairs minister Nanaia Mahuta said New Zealand has an “exceptionally strong” relationship with the UK. “We look forward to deepening the relationship, whether through our new ‘gold standard’ FTA, our joint response to the challenge of climate change, or our work together in the Pacific,” she said.

Speaking to The Spinoff before vacating his mayoral office, Goff was “diplomatic” – his own word – when asked to comment on the performance of then-prime minister Liz Truss. “I was absolutely astounded by the decision that the government took and has since reversed [to cut the top tax rate],” he added. “It was never going to fly, it was never right. And you know, the Conservative Party recognised that for itself, but you just wonder how [they] arrived at a position like that.”

Wayne Brown announces new deputy mayor

Desley Simpson (Photo: Supplied)

Auckland’s new deputy mayor is Ōrākei Ward councillor Desley Simpson, mayor Wayne Brown has confirmed.

Simpson was “overwhelmingly” supported for the role by the new council, said Brown, and was “universally admired for her integrity, professionalism and loyalty”.

The pair will front for media later this afternoon. “Desley is highly regarded as a regional leader with a broad Auckland-wide perspective, while also having the greatest support from her own community of any councillor on the governing body, with nearly 25,000 personal votes,” said Brown.

Simpson said she was excited to work the mayor and backed his “strong stance” on issues.

Desley Simpson (Photo: Supplied)

Luxon works McDonald’s shift: ‘We have to get people off welfare’

(Photo: Pool)

National’s Christopher Luxon has gone back to his first ever job today, serving up burgers and soft serve at the Merivale McDonald’s.

He told media it was about getting out and about, away from Wellington, and “connecting with people, understanding what is going on for them and how a government could help them”.

The McDonald’s experience served Luxon well at his high profile jobs for Unilever and Air New Zealand, he said, calling it special to be back.

(Photo: Pool)

Speaking to Newstalk ZB’s Mike Hosking, the opposition leader said he wanted to get young people under 25 into work. “The importance of a first job is you learn a lot of discipline and get a lot of dignity from work,” he said.

“When you’ve got 50,000 more people on unemployment benefit today… we actually have to work really hard to get people off welfare and into work.”

(Photo: Pool)

Why Auckland Domain is about to host its first music festival

It’s hosted ducks, cricket games, Christmas in the Park … and that’s about it. But next month, Auckland Domain will be transformed into the site of a new music festival called Spring City with an all-day line-up headlined by UK dance veterans Groove Armada and Hot Chip. Also on the bill for the November 26 events are Compton producer Channel Tres and locals Ladyhawke and Zane Lowe.

It is, says promoter Hamish Pinkham, the first promoted musical event held in the Domain in more than 20 years. “It’s been a long time coming and something we’ve been working really closely with Auckland Council on,” he told The Spinoff. “It’s been a slow process … we want to prove we can run an effective, safe and efficient concert in the city and from there we can expand.”

The festival will see the football field between Auckland Museum and the Wintergardens fenced off and converted into a music festival site, with doors opening at 1.30pm and music spread across eight hours. The dance-heavy line-up also includes locals DJ Sin and the rising pop-rock act Coast Arcade. The site can hold up to 12,000 people.

Pinkham, the founder of Rhythm & Vines who is also bringing Fatboy Slim to New Zealand for six shows early next year, says nostalgia is a key factor in touring trends right now. “It’s heritage, it’s in that sweet spot, it’s come around again,” says Pinkham. Basement Jaxx, another British dance act from the 90s, will also perform here soon, and Groove Armada are also playing shows in Christchurch, Wellington and Napier.

He hopes his new Auckland Domain festival opens the door for other events to be held in the same space and says it’s been underused for years. “There’s no reason we can’t have more accessible, all-ages outdoor events in the city,” says Pinkham. He promises Spring City will become an annual event headlined by more “heritage names that haven’t been to New Zealand for a while”.

Woman arrested in relation to attack on prime minister’s office

(image: Madeleine Chapman)

Update: A 57-year-old woman has been arrested in relation to the attack, and police are not seeking anyone else.

The prime minister’s electoral office in Auckland has been the target of an attack this morning and emergency services are at the scene in Morningside. Fire services arrived at about 8.30am.

Jacinda Ardern is currently in Antarctica and a spokesperson for the prime minister‘s office confirmed that nobody was in the building at the time as it happened before work hours. She said the prime minister’s office is awaiting further details.

The left glass panel of the office’s main entrance was broken (but not smashed), with a small hole visible. It appears that no one entered the building as the right panel – the door – remained untouched.

A blade outside the prime minister’s office this morning (Image: Madeleine Chapman)

On the ground near the door was what appeared to be a sword, broken into pieces and discarded.

Stuff has reported that a neighbour witnessed a person smash the door and throw something through the hole, then smoke appearing from the building.

The police at the scene did not comment on the attack. There were at least three security cameras visible and trained on the external entrance of the building

Listen: TOP’s third leader joins Gone by Lunchtime

Earlier this year, former Christchurch councillor Raf Manji became the third leader of the Opportunities Party. In this Gone by Lunchtime special, fresh from the unveiling of a tax overhaul policy, Manji tells Toby Manhire why he took on the new job, how he hopes to win the seat of Ilam, why he doesn’t want to be part of government, and just how he feels about cats.

Listen below or wherever you get your podcasts

The Bulletin: Many nurses set to strike today

Plunket and primary healthcare nurses will strike for four hours today. It’s the first time Plunket nurses have gone on strike in at least 35 years. Plunket is the largest provider of care to families with young children in New Zealand. The nurses are seeking pay parity with their DHB colleagues and have rejected a previous offer of a 3% pay rise.

The Public Service Association (PSA) also got an agreement this week to begin negotiations for a cost of living pay increase for all union members across the public service and crown agencies. That has halted planned industrial action from five government agencies. To round this industrial action segment out, the Fair Pay Agreements bill passed into law yesterday afternoon.

Want to read The Bulletin in full? Click here to subscribe and join over 36,000 New Zealanders who start each weekday with the biggest stories in politics, business, media and culture.  

‘Landmark change’: Fair Pay Agreements passed into law

Michael Wood, the minister responsible for the FTA scheme (Image / Supplied)

The government’s fair pay legislation officially passed into law last night, with its third reading receiving support from Labour, the Greens and Te Pāti Māori, with National and Act opposed.

Workplace relations minister Michael Wood called it an historic moment for New Zealand workers.

“The Fair Pay Agreements Bill will improve employment conditions, by enabling employers and employees to bargain collectively for industry or occupation-wide minimum employment terms,” he said. “By increasing bargaining co-ordination to agree minimum employment terms within a sector, outcomes for vulnerable employees will be improved and we will see growth in the incomes of New Zealand employees.”

Similarly, the Greens said the passing of the legislation was a “landmark change” and a “huge step forward”.

But it’s possible the law won’t stay in place for too long. Should National win next year’s election, the party has pledged to repeal it. Paul Goldsmith, the party’s workplace relations spokesperson, effectively called it forced unionisation.